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EIT to offer te reo Māori programme for teachers in Te Tairāwhiti

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A te reo Māori programme aimed at giving teachers in Te Tairāwhiti a pathway to growing their capability and confidence in using and integrating te reo Māori into their lessons is being offered by EIT.

Te Ahu o te Reo Māori, which is designed to help all teachers from early childhood to secondary school, is being rolled out around the country through tertiary providers after an evaluation report was done on pilot studies done in four regions.

EIT put a tender in to the Ministry of Education to deliver the programme to 500 teachers in Tairāwhiti over three years and was successful.

Pareputiputi Nuku, Pouarataki of Te Ūranga Waka and Te Whatukura at EIT says Te Ahu o te Reo Māori is "more than a te reo course".

A Ministry of Education evaluation report based on the pilot studies, said the programme "is an opportunity for teachers to engage and understand a different worldview; to engage in cultural practices, narratives and histories relevant to Aotearoa and to the system that supports the education of all students."

"The programme has enabled teachers with different skills and knowledge, from different schools, and from different sectors, to come together in a safe place to learn. The programme has challenged, invigorated and inspired."

Te Ahu o te Reo Māori, which means the future pathway of te reo Māori, is based on a seven level te reo Māori competency framework called Ngā Taumata o Te Ahu o te Reo Māori and has five focus areas - local dialect, use, grammar, curriculum and revitalisation.

Puti says that there are other providers of the programme in the region, but EIT committed to its allocation of 500 teachers over three years.

The initial offering of the programme is at an entry level, but all five streams will be taught.

However, she says the two "gems" in the programme are curriculum and revitalisation.

"Because everyone participating are teachers, they can integrate this new knowledge into their curriculum. There's also revitalisation so it's not just a te reo programme because a lot of these teachers have probably done some sort of training. They have also quite possibly done it through EIT as well."

"The last one around te reo revitalisation is about explaining to them their role. Through that, they’ll learn about the history of te reo and what their role is in its revitalisation."

The programme is not just available to teachers, but to anyone connected to schools, be they support staff, Board of Trustee members or school whānau who are in and out of the school providing support. The initial offering is aimed at beginners L1 and L2 and EIT Tairāwhiti is about to develop a Level 3 and 4 programme for those who are a little further in their reo journey.

The main benefit to Tairāwhiti as a community is having a teacher base with a good foundation of te reo and for them "being able to say all their children’s names correctly".

"Also, having a good knowledge of the history of te reo and the importance of teaching it and sharing it with our children. By doing this programme, the teachers will be able to put a Māori worldview or Māori lens on their teaching."

The programme reinforces what EIT, and in particular Te Ūranga Waka and Te Whatukura, does in the community and the important role played around te reo revitalisation.

EIT Tairāwhiti Campus Director Tracey Tangihaere says she was pleased that this programme is being offered on her Campus.

"We believe this will be welcomed by the community and add value to the hard work and mahi our teachers do every day."

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